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"Contrasts" programme in London - 2003
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Jul 12, 2003 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

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<small>"Le Sacre de Printemps" drawing by Millicent Hodson</small>

Performances of Contrasts

4 and 5 August 7.30pm

- Balanchines's "Serenade"

- Nijinski's "The Rite of Spring" (reconstructed by Millicent Archer and Kenneth Archer)

- Harold Lander's "Etudes"

click for unofficial cast lists

<small>[ 18 September 2003, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 16, 2003 5:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

And one, and two, and... No, toes turned in!

When two historians set about teaching Nijinsky's 'difficult' steps to the Kirov, they faced a big challenge, says Jenny Gilbert of The Independent

Ballet audiences aren't normally given to dishing out verbal abuse. But on the night of 29 May, 1913, the Theatre du Champs Elysees in Paris famously erupted in cat-calls and jeers. The occasion was the first night of Vaslav Nijinsky's two-act ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), with music by Igor Stravinsky. The work ran for five more performances, then sank without trace. Stravinsky's phenomenal score went on to have a vibrant life in the concert hall. Nijinsky's mould-breaking choreography was - without apology - forgotten

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Jul 19, 2003 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Spring is busting out all over
Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring scandalised its first audience, so how do you reconstruct a masterpiece when it has been written out of history? By Clifford Bishop for The Sunday Times

Typical, really — you wait ages for a sacrificial virgin, and then three come along at once. There are more than 130 danced or animated interpretations of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, by artists as diverse as Pina Bausch and Walt Disney, and although not all of them feature a Chosen One who dances herself to death to ensure the survival of the earth, that’s what the music calls for, and that’s what most choreographers provide.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 20, 2003 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

"Serenade" was part of an all-Balanchine programme the last time the Kirov were in London:

Ballets of Balanchine
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

Ballets of Balanchine is one of the best evenings the Kirov have presented this year: a magnificent showcase, not only for the choreography but also for the depth of talent in the company's ranks. In Serenade, the Russians move with the speed of the New York City Ballet (for whom this is a signature work) but with a skimming lightness and grace that make the choreography as translucent and airy as the women's trademark net skirts. Their energy is also driven by the hunger and curiosity that this company often displays when it is freed from its obligations to the 19th-century classics.

click for more

Here is the link to our full coverage of this programme from 2001.

<small>[ 21 July 2003, 12:50 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Joanne [ Sun Jul 20, 2003 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Article from The Guardian.

Vaslav Nijinsky's Rite of Spring and Bronislava Nijinska's Les Noces have become icons of the modern ballet repertory. They are fierce, secretive, intractable works, steeped in the avant garde passions of the years in which they were made, 1913 and 1923. Companies who perform these ballets normally allocate four concentrated weeks of rehearsal to allow the dancers to get their minds and bodies around the choreography. But not the Kirov.

Author:  mehunt [ Wed Jul 23, 2003 7:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

What an interestingly mixed program, but I haven't heard anything about Etudes? I do like that ballet (I know Stuart, it's not one of your faves!) But I'm wondering what made them decide to pick that particular piece? Does anyone know when the Kirov first did it?

Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Jul 23, 2003 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

I believe it’s a very recent acquisition. Of course it was created for the Royal Danish Ballet and to some extent reflected Danish style. It used to be in the reps of a number of companies. I saw Toni Lander, for whom the ballet was created, dance it with ABT, and some years later I saw the Danes dance it with Niels Kehlet, though towards the end of his career

For many years it was virtually the signature work of London Festival Ballet (now ENB) and they used to dance it nightly the length and breadth of the UK. Very good they were, too. It was always a showcase for virtuosity and I can remember a number of outstanding performers, particularly Festival Ballet stalwarts such as John Gilpin, Galina Samsova, Andre Prokovsky, Patrice Bart and tiny Margot Miklosy, so fast in her chainee turns that she literally blurred.

Whether this ballet will suit the Kirov remains to be seen, as it features a lot of beaten steps for the male soloist that may cause some problems for the Russians. It’s a great ensemble piece though and quite a challenge for any corps de ballet. I’m very interested to see how they fare with it.

Author:  mehunt [ Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Thanks Cassandra! Yes, I think you outlined some of the very things that I was wondering about. The Russian schooling seems so different to me from the Danish. I thought to myself, that the Kirov will either really have a hard time with it stylistically or really make it their own.

Author:  Nino [ Sat Jul 26, 2003 4:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

I'm really looking forward to seeing the Kirov do Etudes as well. Not sure that the Danish style will be so alien to them, though - Kirov keeps alive in their rep things like La Sylphide, Markitenka, La Vivandiere and so on - all direct descendants of Danish style. And (I blush to admit it) one can get a bit tired of the Petipa thing...

Author:  mehunt [ Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Hmm, that's true! I didn't know that they do La Vivandiere.

Does anyone know, have any of their dancers gone and guested with the Royal Danish?

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Official casting for Contrasts (as at 29th July)

4 & 5 August

Serenade – Natalia Sologub & Daniil Korsuntsev (Waltz)

Irina Golub (Russian)

Sofia Gumerova & Viktor Baranov (Dark Angel)

The Rite of Spring – Alexandra Iosifidi (The Chosen One)

Etudes – Svetlana Zakharova, Andrian Fadeyev, Leonid Sarafanov

click for latest casting for the season

<small>[ 29 July 2003, 06:37 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Cathy [ Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

We must not forget that Etudes since some years owns to the French Paris Opera Ballet even if it was created for Danish ballet, it's often Josette Amiel (French Etoile) who set up this ballet for the foreign companies :) .

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Jul 30, 2003 2:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

Thanks for that information Cathy and I'm sure that Harold Lander's "Etudes" looks great on the excellent POB dancers.

It's also worth remembering that it entered the rep of Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet) in 1955 and has been performed by them at regular intervals ever since. The last being a couple of years ago.

Just wish I liked it better.

<small>[ 30 July 2003, 05:19 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Cathy [ Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

I see a publicity in a French review for the next programm of Danish ballet which is composed by La Sylphide and Etudes. This last one is restaged one more time by Josette Amiel. It's strange for the Country of Harald Lander :) !

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Aug 01, 2003 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Contrasts" programme in London - 2003

The ballet detectives reveal how Nijinsky transformed art of dance
By Terry Kirby for The Independent

It was to be remembered as one of the moments which ushered in the birth of Modernism in the arts, but at the time, most people called it a riot. The occasion was the first performance of the ballet The Rite of Spring, written by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by the great dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, in Paris on 29 May 1913.

What happened has become a part of the history of classical music: the intensely rhythmic score and primitive scenario of scenes from pagan Russia caused great shock to an audience more accustomed to the demure conventions of classical ballet.

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